On March 4, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in support of 3M for the ongoing Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) litigation. The brief provides important support for 3M’s defense in this case and raises serious questions about how the Court’s decision could negatively impact companies’ ability to protect American service members.
An amicus brief allows organizations and parties outside of a legal proceeding to provide expert advice on legal matters related to a case. The Chamber’s brief focuses on 3M’s recent appeal regarding the “government contractor defense,” established in the landmark Supreme Court case Boyle v. United Techs. Corp. In Boyle, the Court found that “second-guessing” the military’s analysis and judgment on design specifications through state lawsuits against contractors would ultimately hurt the United States government and American taxpayers.
Under the “government contractor defense,” manufacturers should be able assist the U.S. military by providing unique solutions, like the CAEv2 product, that meet military design specifications, without facing the risks of meritless litigation.
As the Chamber argues in support of 3M and its many government contractor members, “[Contractors] should not have to fear liability to third parties merely because those third parties disagree with the government’s safety assessments.” The Chamber continues to argue that, “Given the remarkable scope of this MDL – in which hundreds of thousands of claims have been filed – the problem created by the district court’s decision is enormously consequential. The Court should hold that Boyle precludes the plaintiffs in these cases from second-guessing discretionary military decisions.”
You can find the brief here. 3M will continue to argue these and other issues on appeal.
The next bellwether trials are scheduled to take place in Florida on March 14. There will be two separate trials – one in Pensacola and the other in Tallahassee. We are confident in our case and will defend our record accordingly.